December 26, 2005

Prayers For Victims Of The Tsunami

Episcopal News Service] Committed to rebuilding communities and responding to individuals' and families' basic needs, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) has partnered with churches throughout Asia this past year to help millions of people whose lives have been affected by the December 26, 2004, tsunami.

Triggered by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the tsunami pounded coasts along India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand and, although the official death toll is still unclear, the giant wave claimed more than 220,000 lives, conservative estimates suggest. -- Tsunami relief central to churches' mission one year on

Today is St Stephen's Day, but it will forever also be remembered as the anniversary of the devastating tsunami in South Asia.

We remember the victims and their families with this prayer from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco from last year:

Prayer For The Victims of the Tsunami

-- by Wilma Jakobsen
Most merciful and compassionate God,
Giver of Life and Love,
hear our prayers
and let our cries come unto you.

We weep with your people in South Asia
We hear the cries of orphaned children and laments of bereaved parents
We feel the desperation of those searching for loved ones
We behold the silence of vanished villages.

We see the devastation.
We are overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.
Our hearts are hushed, our minds are numb.
Let not our hands be stopped, our voices dumb.

God of the universe,
our hearts to feel your compassion
Galvanize in us the act of continued giving
Bond us to our sisters and brothers in need
Comfort and heal the injured, the bereaved, the lost
Strengthen the aid workers and medical personnel
Bolster the resolve of governments and those with power to help
through this tragedy pathways to partnerships and peace
In Your Name of mercy and healing and compassion we pray,

The Rev. Wilma T. Jakobsen is an associate pastor for liturgy and justice at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California. She is a native South African, and previously served as Anglican chaplain at the University of Cape Town.

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